There are many ways to show courtesy and interest to a host family. Most importantly, as a guest in our home, you’ll need to adapt to our customs – after all, that’s how you discover what life is really like in our part of the world.
Here are some “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to keep in mind to help you make the most of this experience and to leave a good impression as respectable guests.
Expect things to be different. That’s the whole point of the experience!
Make your bed.
Pick up after yourself.
Follow house rules.
Observe and notice as much as you can.
Be courteous to and considerate of other guests.
Don’t be too quick to negatively judge a behaviour or activity. Remember the differences, including cultural and lifestyle.
Because you’re a temporary member of our family, you’ll be expected to participate in our meals that are served at specified timings.
Try everything that’s offered, even if it’s only a small portion.
Do not waste food.
Plan to wash your things by hand. Laundry service is not available.
Clean up after yourself. You leave make up your bed, hang up wet towels, and keep your room as neat as it was when you stepped in the door.
Most importantly, smile, smile, smile!
Each ethnic group has its own traditions that have been passed down through many generations. We are no exception. We will greatly appreciate it if you respect our rules, values, and beliefs.
When and if you visit nearby villages, it is more polite to ask before taking photographs of anyone or anything, so that villagers do not feel exploited. If you do take a photograph, ask for an address so that you can mail the pictures to the villagers.
Support cultural conservation
Express interest in local customs, beliefs, languages, traditional clothing, etc. to foster cultural pride. Buy local goods (we make wine, chocolates, jam, pure Coorg coffee (a blend of 80% Robusta and 20% Arabica and no Chicory) and handicrafts to supplement the community’s income.
If you wish to donate more to the villages you visit, ask for information from your guide or host. We ask that you give to the community as a whole rather than to one specific family. These donations can go towards helping the elderly in the village, getting a child educated, or for emergencies.
Indulge in public displays of affection
Do not display affection to members of the opposite sex like hugging, kissing or holding hands in public. The hill tribes have strict sexual separation between men’s and women’s roles and showing affection to members of the opposite sex can make people feel uncomfortable. It is seen as a sign of great disrespect to the elders and a blasphemy to the spirits that protect the forest and the village.
Bringing drugs into our homestay endangers both you and us in a very serious way. Also, as a house guest, you should be aware that you are setting an example. Locals, especially children, may look up to you and could be tempted to follow your example. For this reason, we also ask you to not smoke cigarettes in front of children and teenagers.
Do not give money to children or to people who beg, as this contributes to the cycle of dependence.